Balkan Dreams end Bulgaria

Duration

10 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Zagreb

Available

2020 / 2021

Cities to visit: Zagreb; ; Sarajevo; Mostar; Medjugorje; Dubrovnik; Kotor; Budva; Tirana; Struga; Ohrid; Kastoria; Kalambaca; Thessaloniki; Melnik; Sandansky; Rila, Kyustendil; Sofia

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

Zagreb  - If you start your trip in Zagreb: Our guide will arrive in the city of Zagreb on Wednesday about 15.00 hrs. Free time until the arrival of our guide. 

15.00hrs- In order to participate in the  panoramic tou r of the city please be at the hotel reception.

16:00 hrs . - Zagreb. From the hotel,  panoramic tour of Zagreb  with local guide, we can admire its two hills, the old quarter, the upper city and the new neighborhoods of the Croatian capital. The visit will last about two hours.

You will then have free time.  Dinner included.

Total distance: 415 km
Landscapes:  Mountains, ancient castles.
Note:   Bring your pasport, we will go to Bosnia. Sometimes this journey may suffer delays due to traffic density or border delays.

07:30 hrs. - Zagreb - Departure. We travel to Bosnia. Areas of hills and forests in the center of Croatia.

09.30 hrs.- Border crossing procedures entering Bosnia (sometimes they can be delayed). 

We travel through the region where the ruined houses tell us about the war and ethnic conflict in Bosnia in the 1990s. We cross  Doboj , the former provincial capital where Orthodox, Muslims, Christians and Jews used to live together. 

12.45 hrs.- Maglaj .- Arrival, picturesque small town dominated by its castle. Time for a walk and lunch.

14:15 hrs.- Maglaj- departure.
16:15 hrs.- Sarajevo  - Arrival. We include a  panoramic city tour  with local guide. We will talk about the conflict that existed in Bosnia and Sarajevo, we will walk through the historical center with strong Turkish influence (its bazaars, its mosques). We will also know the  Tunnel of Hope  that saved the city during the siege (according to arrival time, this place can be visited on Friday before leaving for Mostar).
Dinner included .

Total distance: 315 km.

Scenery: Beautiful landscapes all the stage: mountains, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, picturesque villages en route. Arrival in Dubrovnik with beautiful seascapes.

Notes: Carry your passport, today we return to Croatia. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes for visits and the walk in Kravice.

08.30 hrs. - Sarajevo - Departure. Very beautiful landscapes between mountains and valleys.
11.00 hrs.- Mostar .- Free time to stroll and have lunch in this very picturesque city, its streets are full of commercial life and small restaurants. The high stone bridge separated the Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim communities.
14.00 hrs.- Departure. Just 20 km away you will find:
14.30 hrs.- Medjugorge.- Arrival. A place where thousands of Catholic pilgrims come. They believe that the Virgin Mary continues to appear on the top of the mountain. Time to walk next to its main church and urban center.

16.00 hrs. - Medjugorge - departure.
16.30 hrs - Arrival in Bosnia to Kravice, breathtaking waterfalls 25/30 m high whose walls form vertical gardens surrounded by greenery and where people of Dubrovnik or Mostar usually go to bathe and relax for a picnic.
17.15 hrs- Kravice, Departure to Croatia. Very beautiful coastal scenery.
19.45 hrs- Dubrovnik- Arrival.-Accommodation in Cavtat, on the coast near the city.  Dinner included.


Note:  From the end of October until the beginning of March, it is not possible to visit the Kravice waterfalls. 

Dubrovnik - In the morning we begin with a tour with the local guide of the city of Dubrovnik; We are undoubtedly in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe: hanging on a rock, surrounded by walls, by the Adriatic Sea. We start including the climb by cable car.  From the top of the mountains we can admire the best views of the City. After that, we will walk to know its historic center, a jewel of the world´s architectural heritage. In the visit, we include the entrances to the Franciscan Monastery which holds the oldest pharmacy in Europe; Entrance also included to the cathedral of Dubrovnik .

Free afternoon.
Return to the hotel in Catvat at the end of the afternoon . Dinner included.


Note:  Accommodation in Dubrovnik will be in  Kavtat , a coastal town near the city.
Note:   Due to weather or maintenance, sometimes the cable car does not operate, in these cases we will offer entrance to the walls of Dubrovnik where you will also have fantastic views of the city and the bay.

Distance covered: 295 km 
Scenery: Very beautiful scenery along the Adriatic coast. The bay of Kotor possesses some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe. Very picturesque villages along the way. . Subsequently Albania presents us with images of a more rural country with a very strong character of its own Note: Have your passports to hand. We cross the border to Montenegro and Albania. We will sometimes have to change coach on the border with Montenegro.    

07.30 hrs.- Dubrovnik - Departure -. We set off early for Montenegro . Border procedures (which may sometimes be long). Beautiful scenery in the bay of Kotor.-  
09.30 hrs ( variable depending on which border).- Kotor. - Arrival -. Time to stroll in this beautiful walled town with its strong Venetian influence, which stands in a magnificent scenic background.   
11.00 hrs.- Kotor - Departure - We continue among beautiful coastal scenery. 
11.45 hrs.- Budva , a beautiful walled enclave on a rocky islet in the sea. Time for a stroll, to take photos and have lunch.    

13.45 hrs.- Budva - Departure -. We travel along the coast towards Albania . Arrival at the frontier and border procedures (which may sometimes be long). Time at the frontier too to have a coffee and change money. We carry on along small roads. We enter the capital of Albania.  
17.30 hrs.- Tirana - Arrival -. Dinner and accommodation.  

Distance covered: 160 km 
Scenery:  Slow mountain roads in Albania. Interesting scenery throughout the whole stage. Very beautiful around Lake Ohrid with its crystal clear waters.  
Note:  Have your passports to hand. We are crossing the border with Macedonia. Make sure you do not need a visa to enter this country.   

After breakfast, we include a  panoramic tour of Tirana:  The capital of Albania, with its mosques, the clock tower, the ministries. Our local guide will tell us about this small country.  Free time before going on our way. (this visit may also be made in the evening on arrival in Tirana, depending on the sunlight and on the decision of the guide).-   

11.15 hrs.- Tirana - Departure -. Mountain scenery. After this, we come to  Lake Ohrid  which forms the border with Macedonia and offers us very pretty countryside. Border crossing (there may sometimes be delays). Entry in  Macedonia . 
14.30 hrs.- Struga -  Arrival -. A picturesque town on the shore of the lake. Time for a stroll and lunch.-   

15.30 hrs.- Struga - Departure -.  
16.15 hrs.- Ohrid -  Arrival -. A town with a very strong Ottoman influence, declared World Heritage. Time to see the centre of the town, after which we will go to our hotel (located in the outskirts of the town, by the lake).  Dinner included  and accommodation.

Distance covered: 295 km 
Scenery:   Generally pretty scenery of the Balkans and north of Greece. Mountains in Greece. Spectacular scenery in the area of the Meteoras. 
Notes:  Have your passports to hand. We enter Greece (Schengen zone).  
- We visit the Valley of the Meteoras, stopping at the most important Orthodox monasteries and visiting one of them. Provide for suitable clothing (women will have to put on skirts, which will be given to them at their arrival at the Monastery). Provide for comfortable footwear to climb up to the Monastery.    

07.45 hrs.- Ohrid - Departure -. We travel to the border through regions of pleasant agricultural plains. We pass through Bitola, a historic town that was called the “city of consuls”. Stop at the frontier where we have a chance for a coffee and to change money if we need to. The north of Greece has a strong Slav and Ottoman influence and a very broken geography.  
11.45 hrs.- Kastoria  - Arrival -. The city of the 100 churches, with its mediaeval streets and pleasant restaurants beside its pretty lake. Time for a stroll and lunch.    

13.45 hrs.- Kastoria - Departure -. 
16.00 hrs. – Meteoras –  Arrival -. We start our route amidst the fantastic scenery of the Meteoras which houses monasteries literally “hanging” from the rocks. We stop and visit the  Mega Meteoras monastery (entrance included)  while observing the remaining monasteries “hanging” on the rocks.    
Dinner included  and accommodation in Kalabaka, a small town at the centre of the Meteoras region. 

Total distance: 395km
Landscapes:  Beautiful landscapes in the north of Greece and on the way to Bulgaria: mountains, isolated areas, forests.
Note:   Remember to have your Passport ready, you will need it to enter in Bulgaria.

08.00 hrs.- Kalabaka.- Departure.  We travel through the North of Greece, amidst pretty mountain scenery, to the Aegean Sea. 
11.15 hrs.- THESSALONICA – Arrival-, time for a stroll and lunch in Greece’s second city. 

14.00hrs.- Thesalonica- Departure. We travel towards the Pirin mountain, a World Heritage Site, areas heavily influenced by the Greek, Slavic and Turkish cultures.  After this we go on our way towards  BULGARIA,  and the border pass.  Schedules of this stage sometimes,  can suffer important delays because of the border procedures.  

16.45hrs.- MELNIK.  Arrival. In Bulgarian Macedonia we stop in this picturesque museum village in beautiful scenery amidst a wine producing area. We will learn about the traditional Balkan ways of life.  


17.45hrs.- Melnik. Departure.
18.15 hrs- SANDANSKI , arrival at this beautiful small spa city, the birthplace of Spartacus,  dinner a nd accommodation. 

Total distance covered:  225 km.
  
Scenery:  beautiful landscapes of the Balkans, with mountains, remote areas and forests. 
Note:   Wear suitable clothing to visit the monastery of Rila.- 

08.30 hrs - Sandanski.- Departure.- 
10.30 hrs - Rila Monastery  - We visit this beautiful walled Orthodox monastery that is hidden hidden among forests and mountains within a national park. Time to look around. 

11.45 hrs  - Rila -Departure-. 
14.00 hrs - Sofia - Arrival-. After time for lunch, we include a  tour of the capital of Bulgaria , where we will see the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Russian church, the mosque, its squares and avenues of Stalinist architecture. Free time.

After breakfast, end of our services.


Map Tour

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From: AUD 2,247